Biophilic design room-by-room: the entryway

in Biophilic Design

“There's no second chance of making a first impression”.
In interior design, this translates into the importance of curating the entryway.
Not as a space to impress guests though…
In a biophilic design – where interiors are conceived to support wellbeing – the entryway becomes a soothing space that greets you when you come back home, that separates your home from the outside world, a space that whispers “welcome back”.

So let’s get inspired with some biophilic design tips for the entryway!

Biophilic entryway with greenery and woven dresser.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Raena Interiors (via Instagram) (opened in a new window/tab)

The importance of the entryway

With open spaces being the most common layout in modern interiors, many homes do not have a defined entryway anymore.
However, I believe it’s always important to set up a space – no matter how small – that acts as a entryway.

From a functional point of view, the entryway provides a place to drop all what you’re carrying when you come home: coats, shoes, mail, keys, groceries…
From a wellbeing perspective, it sets the transition between the outside world and your home. And if the first thing you see is a nurturing and inspiring space, you’ll be immediately put in a better mood!

Airy contemporary entryway with a wood console and black accents.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Simply Modern Living (via Instagram) (opened in a new window/tab)
Entryway with woven console and big flowered branches.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Lulu and Georgia (opened in a new window/tab)

The essence of a biophilic entryway

The goal of biophilic design in an entryway is turning the first space of an interior into an inviting introduction to being at home.
Which highlights how biophilic design goes well beyond aesthetics, addressing the importance of interiors on how we feel.

In practice, the entryway should be somehow separated from the rest of the home. It could even be seen as a sort of refuge area. Not one that's aimed at spending long time in, but rather in the sense of a space that sets a transition from the rest of the world.

With this in mind, the key to creating a biophilic entryway is bringing together several patterns, from wellbeing-centered lighting, to the incorporation of greenery and other natural elements recalling the seasonal flow.

 
For an overview of all biophilic design patterns, check out my Biophilic Design Guide.

Contemporary entryway with a stone wall and wood ceiling.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Brian Paquette Interiors (opened in a new window/tab)
Contemporary entryway with small plants creating a pattern on the wall.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Design by Stefano Pasquali – Photo by OverSide (opened in a new window/tab)

An immersive experience

One of the products of a wellbeing-centered interior is a rich experience of the space, one that involves all senses.
For example, natural textures and materials are not by chance one of the main features of biophilic design! They add visual & tactile richness to the interior and can also strengthen its local identity.
Sounds and smells also become relevant design elements to create that welcoming feeling in an entryway.
As a note, the fact that entryways are often small spaces can be an advantage, justifying bolder design choices!

Contemporary entryway with a wood shelf popping against a white wall.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Recipes for Design (via Instagram) (opened in a new window/tab)
Airy rustic entryway with an oversized plant.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Alexander Design (opened in a new window/tab)

Creating visual connection with nature – another biophilic design staple – can also translate into the design of an entryway.
Having a window in the entryway is certainly not something every home allows for (and it gets especially complex in apartments). But still, it’s a good point to keep in mind.

Biophilic entryway where the top of the front door is glazed.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Rariden Schumacher Mio & Co. (opened in a new window/tab)
Biophilic entryway where the front door wall is fully glazed.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Foursquare Builders (opened in a new window/tab)

A thoughtful organization

From a functional point of view, the entryway should provide easy solutions to store coats, keys, mail etc.
Defining a specific space for everything is what is going to keep the space tidy over time, preventing it from becoming a messy dropping zone.

Speaking of mess…clutter is another important point to take into account.
Being a small space, an entryway can easily look full of stuff. And clutter is hands-down one of the most uninviting things is a space!
To keep clutter at bay while retaining the practical side of the space, closed storage is the way to go. As a rule of thumb, I’d say the smaller the entryway the more closed storage becomes important…but some sort of open storage can become a design feature!

Entryway wall with round hooks doubling as a design pattern.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Robert Garneau (via Instagram) (opened in a new window/tab)
Biophilic entryway with greenery, natural materials and a wallpaper depicting trees in a forest.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Lyn’s Design Style (opened in a new window/tab)
Airy entryway with huge branches as décor.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Coco Republic (opened in a new window/tab)

 
To summarize, the entryway is the first space of any home. And if home is a personal sanctuary to feel good and recharge, then the entryway should go in the same direction, setting the tone for a wellbeing-centered experience at home.

For more inspiration, you can check out my room-by-room biophilic design boards on Pinterest (opened in a new window/tab). And if you’d like to take action in your own home, feel free to check out my design services!

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